14 August 2020
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
Two weeks ago, whilst narrating the accounts of the companions, I was mentioning the accounts from the life of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas. I will continue to narrate some further accounts from his life today.
The battle [against the Persian forces] was mentioned last time. During the battle, Hazrat Salamara bint Hafsa, the wife of Hazrat Saadra, saw that a prisoner who was shackled in chains and expressed immense longing to participate in the battle. His name was Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi. He also happened to arrive at the [location of the battle] after Hazrat Umarra expelled him [from the city] due to him drinking alcohol. However, after being guilty of drinking alcohol again, Hazrat Saadra punished him with lashes and tied him in chains.
Abu Mihjan requested Zahrah, who was a maidservant of Hazrat Saadra, to open his chains so that he could participate in the battle. He stated, “By Allah, if I survive, I will return and put on the chains again.” The maidservant accepted his request and opened the chains. Abu Mihjan mounted the horse of Hazrat Saadra and headed towards the battlefield. Penetrating the rows of the enemy, he headed towards the big white elephant and attacked it. Hazrat Saadra was observing all of this at the time and said, “Although the horse belongs to me, however, the one riding it appears to be Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi.” As mentioned previously, Hazrat Saadra could not actively participate in the battle due to illness, but he was supervising from further afield. In any case, the fighting continued for three days. When the battle came to an end, Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi retuned and put on his chains again. Hazrat Saadra released Abu Mihjan saying, “If you drink alcohol again, I shall hand out a severe punishment.” Abu Mihjan promised never to drink again. According to another narration, Hazrat Saadra wrote about the entire incident to Hazrat Umarra, upon which Hazrat Umarra said, “If he repents from drinking alcohol again, then he should not be punished.” Upon this, Abu Mihjan swore to never drink again and Hazrat Saadra set him free. (Ashra Mubashra, Bashir Sajid, pp. 850-851)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has narrated the details of this incident in the following manner. In the previous narration, it was mentioned that the maidservant released him. However, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas was among the very special companions of the Holy Prophetsa. During the period of Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat, Hazrat Saadra was appointed as the commander of the Muslim army against the Persian army. Suddenly, he developed an abscess on his thigh, which is referred to as “ghambir” in our [Urdu] language. It persisted for a long time and he tried all kinds of treatments but to no avail. Eventually, he thought that if he remained bedbound and the army saw that their commander was absent, they would become downhearted. Hence, he had a tree deck constructed just like people in this country [the Indian subcontinent] do for the security of their orchards. He used to climb up to the deck with the help of his men so that the Muslim army may be able to see him and be assured that their commander was with them. During those days, he came to know that an Arab [Muslim] chief had consumed alcohol.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:
“Although alcohol was forbidden in Islam, but the Arabs were extremely addicted to it. And once someone is addicted to something, withdrawal can be very difficult. This particular chief had only accepted Islam two or three years before this incident.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states that when one has a habit, it does not go away easily.
In any case Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas was informed that this Muslim Arab chief had drunk alcohol and so he imprisoned him. In those days, there were no formal prisons. Whoever was to be imprisoned would be locked in a room and someone would be appointed to watch over them. Hence, this Muslim Arab chief was also locked in a room and someone was appointed to guard the door.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes:
“The year in which this battle took place is known as the ‘Year of Trial’ in Islam in Islamic history. The reason for this is that the Muslims suffered great losses during this battle. At one point, the horses of the Muslim army fled from the elephants of the opponents. There was a river nearby and the horses plunged into it. Since the Arabs did not know how to swim, consequently hundreds of Muslims drowned and died. For this reason, that year is known as the ‘Year of Trial’. Nevertheless, this Muslim Arab chief was locked in a room. The Muslim soldiers would return from the battle, sit near his room and mention to one another that the Muslims suffered great losses during the battle. He would be greatly pained upon hearing this and express his grief over the fact that he was unable to partake in the battle on this occasion. He certainly had a weakness and as a result drank alcohol, but nevertheless he was very courageous and passionate man. Hearing about the losses the Muslims suffered during the battle, he would start to pace up and down in the room just as a lion paces back and forth in the cage. Whilst pacing up and down, he would recite a couplet which means, ‘Today was the opportunity for you to defend Islam and display your courage; however, you remain behind imprisoned.’
“Hazrat Saadra’s wife was a very courageous woman. One day, she passed by his room and heard these couplets. She saw that no one was standing guard. And so, she approached the door and whilst addressing the prisoner, she said, ‘Do you know that Saadra has imprisoned you! If he finds out that I released you, he will certainly hold me accountable. However, I wish to set you free so that you may help Islam according to your desire.’ He replied, ‘You can release me whenever the battle commences and I promise that I will immediately return to this room after the end of each day.’ This lady was also passionate for Islam and had an ardent desire to protect it. Hence, she released him. And so, he partook in the battle and fought with such courage as a result of which the Muslim army advanced ahead instead of retreating. Saadra recognised him and later said, ‘The individual I imprisoned for drinking alcohol was present in the battle today. Even though he had covered his face, I recognised him by the manner in which he was fighting and his physical stature. I will search for the individual who released him and I will punish him severely.’ In other words, he was going to severely punish the individual who had unchained him. When Hazrat Saadra uttered these words, his wife became angry and said, ‘Do you not feel ashamed that you are sitting on the deck upon a tree and have imprisoned the individual, who fearlessly enters the rows of the opposing army and does not care for his life? I released this person! You may do as you please. I set him free and you may now do as you please.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentioned the details of this incident in one of his addresses to the Lajna [auxiliary organisation of the women] and stated that women in Islam made extraordinary achievements. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra then reminded Ahmadi women that they should be mindful of these examples even today. (Quroon-e-Ula ki Musalman Khawatin ka Namuna, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 25, pp. 428 -430)
Another account of the sacrifices offered by women, which also has the reference to Hazrat Saadra, is as follows:
A well-known poet and female companion from the Ansar tribe of Banu Sulaym, Hazrat Khansaara devoted her four sons during this battle in the cause of Allah. Hazrat Khansaa’sra husband and brother had passed away when she was young. Hazrat Khansaara raised her children with great care and effort. In the morning of the last day of the battle of Qadisiyyah, before the battle commenced, Hazrat Khansaara addressed her children and said, “My dear sons! You have happily accepted Islam and migrated out of your own will. By that Being, besides Whom there is none worthy of worship, I have not allowed any shame to befall your lineage and ancestors! Remember that the abode of the Hereafter is better than this transient world. My dear sons, prepare yourselves, remain steadfast, fight shoulder to shoulder and fear God! When you see that the battle is fierce and in full force and when the cavalry has determined to stand its ground, you should race into the battlefield in order to adorn your lives in the Hereafter.”
Thus, acting in accordance with the instruction of Hazrat Khansaara, her sons took the reins of their horses, recited verses which are traditionally quoted during the times of battle [in order to arouse the spirit of the soldiers], galloped onto the battle field and they fought bravely until they were martyred. Before evening fell on that day, the Islamic flag was raised over Qadisiyyah. Hazrat Khansaara was informed that all four of her sons were martyred, upon which she said, “I am grateful to Allah that He has granted them martyrdom. I am proud that they were sacrificed in the cause of the truth. I am certain that Allah the Exalted will grant us an abode in the shade of His mercy.”
After gaining victory over Qadisiyyah, the Muslim army was then granted victory in Babylon, which is an ancient city of modern-day Iraq and which has been mentioned by the Holy Quran in relation to Harut and Marut. This place was where Kufa is now situated. This is what has been mentioned in the introduction for the names of the cities. It is further written that they reached the historical city of Kusa, which is where Nimrod imprisoned Hazrat Abrahamas. The prison was still intact in that time. When Hazrat Saadra reached that place and saw the prison, he recited the following verse of the Holy Quran:
تِلْكَ الْاَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ
“And such days We cause to alternate among men [that they may be admonished].” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.141)
As they journeyed further from Kusa, they reached a place named Bahra Sheer. According to Mu‘jam-ul-Buldan, which also explains the names of the cities, the name of this place was Bahuri Seer, situated to the west of the Tigris River, near the Iraqi city of Madain, and in the outskirts of Baghdad. This is where the hunting lion of Chosroes was kept.
So when the army of Hazrat Saadra had reached close by, this beast was unleashed upon them. With its thunderous growl, the lion launched its attack upon the army. Hashimra bin Abi Waqas, the brother of Hazrat Saadra who was the commander of the frontline, struck the lion in such a manner that it collapsed on the spot. The Battle of Madain also took place during this expedition. Madain was the headquarters of Chosroes where his white palaces were located. Between the Muslims and Madain was the Tigris River. The Iranians had completely destroyed all the bridge of the river. Hazrat Saadra then said, “O Muslims, the enemy has taken refuge with the river, so let us now swim across the river.” Having said this, Hazrat Saadra led the horse in the river and the soldiers followed their commander by also taking their horses in the river and in this way, the army of the Muslims crossed the river. Having witnessed these extraordinary scenes, the Iranians began wailing with fear and fled immediately thinking some spirits had come. As the Muslims advanced, they took control of the city and the palaces of Chosroes and in this way, the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa came to fulfilment. This [prophecy] was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa as he struck the boulder with the pickaxe whilst digging the ditch prior to the Battle of the Ditch, when he said, “I have been shown the white palaces of Madain falling.” Hence, having seen these palaces in a derelict state, Hazrat Saadra recited the following verses of Surah al-Dukhan:
كَمۡ تَرَكُوۡا مِنْ جَنّٰتٍ وَّ عُيُوْنٍ۔ وَّ زُرُوْعٍ وَّ مَقَامٍ كَرِيْمٍ۔ وَّ نَعْمَةٍ كَانُوْا فِيْهَا فٰكِهِيْنَ۔ كَذٰلِكَ وَ اَوْرَثْنٰهَا قَوْمًا اٰخَرِيْنَ
“How many were the gardens and the springs that they left behind! And the cornfields and the noble places! And the comforts wherein they took delight! Thus [it was destined to be]. And We made another people inherit these things.” (Surah al-Dukhan, Ch.44: V.26-29)
Thereafter, Hazrat Saadra wrote to Hazrat Umarra seeking permission to advance further, to which Hazrat Umarra replied that he should suffice with what was at hand and attention should be given to establishing law and order in the conquered lands. Hence, by establishing Madain as the headquarters, Hazrat Saadra began his efforts to strengthen the administration and he carried this out in an excellent manner.
He formed the census of Iraq and marked out the boundaries of the territory; he arranged for the wellbeing and comfort of the public and by way of his excellent planning and carrying out his duties, he proved that God Almighty had favoured him not only with the art of war, but also with administrative expertise.
People think that after conquering a land, the Muslims did not take care of its people; on the contrary, whenever they conquered a city, they took greater care of them than all who came before them. Then there was the construction of Kufa. Owing to the fact that the climate of Madain was not suitable for the Arabs, with the permission of Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Saadra had the Arabs dwell in a new city, wherein the Arab tribes were allocated their own quarters. A large mosque was built in the city centre, which could accommodate 40,000 worshippers at a time. Kufa was in fact a military garrison, and so it was made the dwelling place for 100,000 soldiers.
Further details of this are that after remaining in Madain for some time, Hazrat Saadra realised that the climate had greatly affected the Arabs. Hazrat Umarra was informed of this and the instruction was given to find a suitable nearby land that they could inhabit and once the Arabs settle there, it should be made the administrative headquarters.
In accordance with this, Hazrat Saadra left Madain, chose a suitable land near the borders and laid the foundations for a vast city named Kufa and then settled the Arab tribes there, each to their own quarters. In the centre, a large mosque was constructed which had space for 40,000 worshippers. He also had the building for the treasury constructed near the mosque and his own palace too, which was known as Qasr-e-Sa’d. (Roshan Sitarey, pp. 84-88), (Sair al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, pp. 117-118) (Mujam-ul-Buldan, p. 56) (Mujam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 1, p. 610)
Then there is the Battle of Nahawand where in 21 AH, the Iranian forces began preparations to fight the Muslims in the Ajam of Iraq i.e. the part of Iraq which belonged to the Persians. In order to regain control of the lands conquered by the Muslims, 150,000 Iranian warriors had gathered in opposition to them in Nahawand.
Hazrat Saadra informed Hazrat Umarra about this and after taking counsel from those of experience and understanding, he appointed an Iraqi, Hazrat Numanra bin Muqqarin Muzni as the commander of the Muslim army.
At the time, Hazrat Numanra was in Kaskar, which is situated between Nahrawan and the edge of the Tigris River near Busra and in which there were many towns and villages. So as it were, Hazrat Umarra instructed him to reach Nahawand.
In comparison to the Iranian army of 150,000, the Muslim army comprised of only 30,000. Whilst passing through the ranks of the army, Hazrat Numanra gave certain instructions and said that if he was to be killed, Huzaifah would take command of the army and if he too were to be slain, then so and so would be handed command of the army. In doing so, he named seven individuals one after the other.
Thereafter, he supplicated to God Almighty saying, “O Allah, grant honour to Your religion, help Your servants and grant the rank of martyrdom to Numan first and foremost.” According to another narration, he prayed, “O Allah, I pray You grant me the pleasure of my eyes through such a victory in which lies the honour of Islam and my martyrdom.” When the battle commenced, the Muslims fought with such bravery that they had conquered the battlefield before the sun could even set and in this battle Hazrat Numanra was martyred.
Abu Lu‘lu Feroz was captured in this battle and was given as a slave to Hazrat Mughirahra bin Shu‘bah. This is the same person who later attacked Hazrat Umarra and martyred him. Hazrat Umarra wrote a letter to the amir of Nahawand stating that if God Almighty was to grant victory to the Muslims, then the khumus (1/5) of the spoils of war should be set aside for the treasury and the rest should be distributed amongst the Muslims. But if this army was to be defeated, then the belly of the earth was better than what lay above it, i.e. the grave.
Once, during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra, some people of the Banu Asad tribe complained about the manner in which Hazrat Saadra offered Salat. They complained to Hazrat Umarra that Hazrat Saadra did not lead the Salat in the correct manner. Hazrat Umarra then sent Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah to investigate the matter, but he found the allegations to be false. Nonetheless, owing to certain reasons and wisdom, Hazrat Umarra recalled Hazrat Saadra to Medina. (Roshan Sitarey, Vol. 2, pp. 88-90) (Sharah Zarqani, Vol.4, p. 539, Dar-ul-Kutub-ul-ilmiyyah, Beirut) (Mujam-ul-Buldan, p. 292)
This has been mentioned in Sahih Bukhari as follows.
Hazrat Jabir bin Samurahra relates that the people of Kufa complained to Hazrat Umarra about Hazrat Saadra and so, Hazrat Umarra removed him from his duties and appointed Hazrat Ammarra as the governor.
Among the complaints the residents of Kufa made against Hazrat Saadra, they also said that he did not lead Salat in a correct manner. Hazrat Umarra summoned him and said “O Abu Ishaq” – Abu Ishaq was the title of Hazrat Saadra – “these people say that you do not lead the Salat in a correct manner.” Abu Ishaq (i.e. Hazrat Saadra) replied, “By God, I lead Salat just as the Holy Prophetsa used to – nothing less. While leading Isha, I would make the first two rak‘ats long and the last two shorter.” Hazrat Umarra said, “Abu Ishaq, this is exactly what I thought of you,” meaning this was exactly as he expected him to do.
Then Hazrat Umarra sent one, or a few men with him to Kufa, so that they may ask the residents of Kufa about him. There was not a single mosque which they did not visit in order to ask about Hazrat Saadra – they went to every mosque and people complimented Hazrat Saadra. At the end, they went to the mosque of the Banu Abas tribe. There, a man known as Osama bin Qatadah and his title was Abu Sa‘ida, he stood up and said, “Since you have taken an oath from us, the truth is that Saad would not accompany the army and would not distribute the wealth equally, nor was he just in his decisions.”
These were the allegations that were levelled against Hazrat Saadra. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Saadra said, “By God, I pray for three things; that O my Allah! If this servant of yours”, i.e. the person who levelled these allegations, “is a liar, has stood out of ostentation and for fame, then extend his life, increase his needs and make him repeatedly face trials.”
After this, whenever someone would enquire from that person who had levelled these allegations, he would say, that he had become very frail and in a feeble condition. [He would say] that he was stricken with hardship; the prayer of Hazrat Saadra against him had been fulfilled, meaning he was suffering the consequences of the false allegations he had levelled. Abdul Mulk would say, “I have seen him afterwards, and his condition was such that due to old age, his eyebrows had sunk over his eyes. It was surprising to see, that despite this, his level of morality was so low that he would approach young girls in the streets and would make gestures at them with his eyes.” This entire incident is recorded in Bukhari. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Adhan, Hadith no. 755)
In any case, Hazrat Saadra was deeply hurt by these allegations and said, “I was the first from among the Arabs to launch an arrow for the cause of Islam, and we would go alongside the Holy Prophetsa for battles, in such conditions where we had nothing to eat except the leaves of the trees. Our condition was such that we would pass stool that would resemble the excrement of camel or like that of goats”, i.e. completely dry, “and now the situation is such that Banu Asad ibn Khuzaimah wish to teach me the etiquettes of Islam. If such is the case, then I have been unsuccessful and all my deeds have been wasted and the people. The people of Banu Asad have gone to Hazrat Umarra and spoken ill of me by saying that I do not lead the Salat in the correct manner.” This narration is also found in Bukhari. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Fazail Al-Sahab Al-Nabi, Hadith no. 3728) (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Abwab Al-Zuhd, Hadith no. 2365, 2366)
In 23 Hijri when Hazrat Umarra was attacked with an attempt to take his life, people asked him to nominate someone for Khilafat [after him]. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra appointed a board for the selection of Khilafat which included Hazrat Usmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, Hazrat Zubairra bin Awam and Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidallah. Hazrat Umarra said that any one of these [companions] should be selected as the Holy Prophetsa had given them all the glad tidings of heaven.
Then he said, “If Khilafat is given to Saad bin Abi Waqas, then he should be the Khalifa, otherwise whichever one of you becomes the Khalifa should continue to seek help from Saad as I did not discharge him [from his duties] for being inept of doing work, nor due to any dishonesty.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazail Al-Sahab Al-Nabi, Hadith no. 3700) (Sahih al-Bukari, Kitab-ul-Janaiz, Hadith no. 1392)
When Hazrat Uthmanra became the Khlaifa, he made Hazrat Saadra the governor of Kufa once again. He worked in this capacity for three years, after which, due to some reason, he had a disagreement with Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud, who at the time was in-charge of the bait-ul-mal [treasury], as a result of which Hazrat Usmanra discharged him from his duties. After being discharged he adopted a life of solitude in Medina. When disorder and dissension against Hazrat Usmanra began, he remained in solitude. (Sair-ul-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 120)
It is related in one narration that during the time of discord, Hazrat Saad’sra son asked Hazrat Saadra as to what had kept him from going for Jihad. Upon this, Hazrat Saadra replied, “I will not fight until you bring me a sword which can distinguish between a believer and a disbeliever,” because Muslims were now fighting amongst each other. It is also related in another narration that Hazrat Saadra said, “Bring me a sword that has eyes, lips and a tongue and can tell me that so and so is a believer and so and so is a disbeliever; until now, I have only fought against disbelievers.” (Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 106, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1990)
There is a narration in Sunan al-Tirmidhi which relates that Hazrat Saadra said regarding the discord that began during the time of Hazrat Usmanra, “I bear witness that the Holy Prophetsa said that surely a time would come when there would be disorder, during which one who remains sitting would be better than the one who stands and one who stands would be better than the one who walks and the one who walks would be better than the one who runs”, meaning one was not to take part in the dissension but to try and stay away from it. Someone asked what they should do if the discord entered their homes. He replied, “Become like the ibn Adam [sons of Adam].” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwaab-ul-Fitn, Hadith no. 2194)
With reference to ibn Adam, the Holy Quran states that one should defend themselves, but they should not fight one another with the intent to kill. This incident is mentioned in the Holy Quran and it seems that this is the same example that Hazrat Saadra gave.
While mentioning the great efforts of the Companionsra to end the discord that started during the Khilafat of Hazrat Usmanra, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Though the Companionsra would not be given the opportunity to gather with Hazrat Usmanra, they were not heedless to their duties. According to what was pertinent at the time, they had distributed their work into two parts: those who were in their advanced years and elderly and who had moral influence on the masses would spend their time in advising others. Those who did not have such influence or were younger, they worked for the protection of Hazrat Usmanra.” He continues to write, “Amongst them, at the forefront in working to eliminate the discord were Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas, the victor of Persia.” (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 321)
After Hazrat Usmanra, during the Khilafat of Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Saadra remained in solitude. According to one narration, when the dispute between Hazrat Alira and Amir Muawiyyahra increased, Amir Muawiyyahra wrote letters to three companions to seek their help against Hazrat Alira: Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, and Hazrat Muhammadra bin Maslamah. Upon this, all three refused. Hazrat Saadra sent the following couplets to Amir Muawiyyahra [in response]:
مُعَاوِيَ دَاؤُكَ الدَّاءُ الْعَيَاءُ
وَ لَيْسَ لِمَا تَجِيْءُ بِهٖ دَوَاءُ
اَيَدْعُوْنِيْ اَبُوْ حَسَنٍ عَلِيٌّ
فَلَمْ اَرْدُدْ عَلَيْهِ مَا يَشَاءُ
وَ قُلْتُ لَهٗ اَعْطِنِيْ سَيْفًا بَصِيْرًا
تَمِيْزُ بِهِ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْوَلَاءُ
اَتَطْمَعُ فِي الَّذِيْ اَعْيَا عَلِيًّا
عَلٰي مَا قَدْ طَمِعْتَ بِهِ الْعَفَاءُ
لَيَوْمٌ مِنْهُ خَيْرٌ مِّنْكَ حَيًّا
وَ مَيْتًا اَنْتَ لِلْمَرْءِ الْفِدَاءُ
The translation is, “O Muawiyyah! You have a severe disease. There is no cure for your illness. Can you not understand even this much, that Abu Hassan”, i.e. Hazrat Alira, “asked me to fight, but I did not listen even to him, and I asked him to give me a sword which can see and can distinguish for me the difference between friend and foe. O Muawiyyah! Do you hope that the one who did not listen to Hazrat Ali’sra request to fight will listen to you? Even though a single day from the life of Hazrat Alira is better than your entire life and death, yet you call unto me against such a person.” This incident is related in a narration from Usdul Ghabah. (Usdul Ghaba fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 455, Saad bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut Lebanon)
It is stated in one narration that once, Amir Muawiyyah asked Hazrat Saadra, “What stops you from speaking ill of Abu Turab?”; this was the title of Hazrat Alira; Hazrat Saadra would never speak ill of him. Hazrat Saadra said, “There are three things which the Holy Prophetsa said regarding him – if even one of those things was said about me, it would be dearer to me than red camels. Due to these three things, I will never speak ill of him (i.e. Hazrat Alira).
“The first is that once, the Messengersa of Allah left Hazrat Alira behind during an expedition. Upon this, Hazrat Alira submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Will you leave me with the women and children?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Are you not happy at the fact that your connection to me is the same as that of Aaronas with Mosesas, except with the difference that you will not be granted the status of prophethood after me.’ The second thing was on the occasion of the Battle of Khaibar, when the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘I will give the flag of Islam to such a person who loves Allah and His Messengersa and Allah and His Messengersa love him.’ At the time, we all desired that the flag be given to us for we all had love for the Holy Prophetsa, however the Holy Prophetsa asked for Hazrat Alira to be brought forward. He did not give it to any of us, but instead said to call for Hazrat Alira. Hazrat Alira came and he was experiencing an ailment in his eyes at the time. The Holy Prophetsa put his blessed saliva from upon his eyes and gave him the flag of Islam. On that day, Allah granted the Muslims victory.
“The third aspect he mentioned was that when this verse was revealed”:
فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ
(The translation is as follows: “Say [to him], ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, and our women and your women’” [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.62]), the Holy Prophetsa called Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Fatimara, Hazrat Hassan and Hazrat Hussainra and said, ‘O Allah! These are members of my family.’” This is a narration from Tirmidhi. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab-ul-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3724)
Musab, the son of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, states:
“When my father was close to his demise, he had placed his head on my lap, at which point tears began to well up. Seeing my condition, he said to me, ‘O my son! What is it that makes you cry?’ I replied, ‘Your imminent demise and the fact that after your passing, I find that there is nobody equal to you.’ At this, Hazrat Saadra replied, ‘Do not cry over me, Allah the Almighty will never punish me and I am from among the dwellers of paradise.’”
Some people raise allegations that such and such stated that he would enter paradise; how is this possible. In this incident, Hazrat Saadra stated that he was from among those who would enter paradise. He then further stated, “Allah the Almighty will reward the believers for their good deeds they performed for the sake of Allah. As for the disbelievers, Allah the Almighty will lessen their punishment on account of their virtuous deeds. However, when those deeds become exhausted, He will punish them once again. Every person should seek the reward for those deeds they performed.” (Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, pp. 108-109, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990)
Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas’ son states:
“I asked my father, ‘Your treatment towards the Ansar is different to everyone else.’ He replied, ‘O my son! Is there anything in your heart against them?’” He asked his son that upon seeing his treatment towards the Ansar, did he have anything in his mind about it? His son replied: “‘No, but this treatment astonishes me.’ Hazrat Saadra replied, ‘I heard the Holy Prophetsa say that only the believers will befriend them [i.e. the Ansar] and the hypocrites will harbour malice against them. Thus, for this reason I have close ties with them.’” (Usdul Ghaba fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 456, Saad bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon)
Jarir relates that on one occasion, he went to visit Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Umarra enquired about Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, to which he replied, “I have seen that despite wielding powerful authority in his governance, he is the most honourable person. He is the least strict in his dealings and is like a benevolent mother for the people. He gathers provisions for them just like ants gather provisions. In battles he is the bravest and the most beloved from among all of the Quraish.” (Al-Sahaba fi Tamyeez al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 64, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1995)
Hazrat Saadsa bin Abi Waqas passed away in 55 AH and at the time of his demise, he was slightly over 70 years old. According to some narrations, he was 74 years old, whereas according to other narrations, he was 83 years old. (Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 110, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990) (Al-Istiab fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahab, Vol. 2, p. 610, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut)
There is a difference of opinion as to the year of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas’ demise – the different narrations range from 51 AH to 58 AH; however, the majority have stated his year of demise as 55 AH. (Usdul Ghaba fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 456, Saad bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon)
At the time of his demise, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas left behind 250,000 dirhams as part of his will. (Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 110, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990)
Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas passed away in Aqeeq, which was situated seven miles from Medina or 10 miles from Medina. According to some narrations, it is stated that people brought his body to Medina on their shoulders and the funeral took place in Masjid al-Nabawi. His funeral was led by Marwan bin Hakam, the governor of Medina at the time and the noble wives of the Holy Prophetsa were also present for the funeral prayers. He was buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi. (Usdul Ghaba fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 456, Saad bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon) (Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 110, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990) (Al-Istiab fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahab, Vol. 2, p. 610, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut)
The following narration is in regard to the funeral of Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas: Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubairra relates on the authority of Hazrat Aishara that when Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas passed away, the noble wives of the Holy Prophetsa requested for the funeral to be brought into the mosque so that they (i.e. the wives of the Holy Prophetsa) could also offer the funeral prayer. Thus, the funeral was brought and placed in front of their quarters as they requested so they could offer the funeral prayers. Later, the funeral was taken through the Bab al-Janaiz, which was close to where people would sit. News reached the noble wives of the Holy Prophetsa that people disapproved of this by saying that funerals were not permitted inside the mosque. When Hazrat Aishara learnt of this, she said, “People are quick to pass judgement about matters which they do not have knowledge of. People have criticised our action that we asked for the funeral to pass through the mosque, whereas the Holy Prophetsa offered the funeral prayer of Suhail bin Baida inside the mosque.” This is a narration of Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Janaiz, Hadith no. 973) (Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 109, Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990)
When he was close to his demise, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas stated in his will for his grave to be dug and for a hollow cavity of brick to be placed over him, just as it was made for the Holy Prophetsa. This is also a narration of Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Janaiz, Hadith no. 966)
Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas was the last of the Muhajireen to pass away from among the men. At the time of his demise, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas took out a woollen cloak and stated for him to be buried in this because he had worn this cloak during the Battle of Badr. He stated that he had kept the cloak especially for this time (i.e. for his burial). (Usdul Ghaba fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 456, Saad bin Malik, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon)
In Sirat Khataman Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:
“In the era of Hazrat Umarra as well, when stipends were fixed for the Companions, those who had taken part in Badr especially received a larger stipend. Even the Companions themselves would feel just pride on account of their participation in the Battle of Badr.
“Therefore, Mr [William] Muir writes:
“‘These Companions of Badr were the peerage of Islam. “Bring me here the garment in which I went forth to Bedr [sic]; for this end have I kept it laid up unto this day.” So spake Sa‘d, the youthful convert of Mecca, now about to die at fourscore years of age. Crowned with renown as the conqueror of Persia, the founder of Cufa [sic], and the Viceroy of Irac [sic], his honours were all cast into the shade by the glory of having shared in the battle of Bedr. In his eyes, the “garment of Bedr” was the highest badge of nobility, and in it would he be carried to his grave’”. (Sirat Khataman Nabiyyin, Vol. 2, pp. 168-169 [English Translation])
From the earlier narration, wherein it was mentioned that Hazrat Saadra built a palace, questions may arise in one’s mind about this. The answer to this is that towards the end of his life, Hazrat Saadra remained in seclusion and the attire he chose [for his burial] was the cloak he wore in the Battle of Badr. Furthermore, the time he spent in seclusion prior to this incident also testifies to his humility and simplicity.
Hazrat Saadra states, “When I took part in the Battle of Badr, I only had one daughter.” From other narrations we find that at the time of Hajjatul Wada, he also had one daughter. Subsequently, Allah the Almighty blessed him with many children. Hazrat Saadra married a total of nine times throughout his lifetime and he was blessed with 34 children – 17 girls and 17 boys. (Roshan Sitarey, pp. 98-99) (Al-Isaba, Vol. 5, p. 219, Umar bin Saad bin Abi Waqas, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)
This concludes the accounts in the life of Hazrat Saadra, in the future, insha-Allah, I will narrate accounts for the next companion.
After the Friday prayers, I will lead some funeral prayers in absentia.
The first funeral is of respected Safdar Ali Gujjar Sahib, who was serving as a volunteer in the Ziafat Department at the Fazl Mosque, London. He passed away on 25 July  at the age of 79, owing to a heart attack, having spent a few days in hospital.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
“Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
By the grace of Allah, he was a musi [part of the institution of Al-Wasiyyat] and had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in the Ziafat Department of the UK [Jamaat] for 30 years.
Right up until his demise, he had the opportunity to serve the guests of the Promised Messiahas in an outstanding manner and also the workers and volunteers of the Jamaat in the Ziafat department. Aside from this, the deceased had the opportunity to help with postage and packaging with Al Fazl International and Ahmadiyya Bulletin.
His asylum case was pending for many years. When, after a long time, his case was accepted and his family was able to come to the UK, he was very grateful to Allah the Almighty for this and he never complained that he had to spend a long time on his own.
The deceased had immense love for Khilafat and always remained in close proximity to Khilafat; in fact, I would say that he was so passionate about Khilafat that he was a model for others in this regard. He had great love for the members of the Jamaat and also his relatives. He was very devoted and regular in offering his five daily prayers. He would serve selflessly, was very popular and had a caring nature.
He would compose poems in the Punjabi language and owing to his beautiful voice, he was very popular among members of the Jamaat. During the Jalsa Salana, the deceased would recite poems for the guests and as a result, was renowned for this. The deceased belonged to a prominent Jamaat in Lahore, Handu Gujjar. Aside from his wife, he is survived by four sons and two daughters.
Respected Ataul Mujeeb Rashed Sahib writes:
“Safdar Ali Sahib possessed a very simple nature; he was very sincere and served the Jamaat in a very loyal and tireless manner. There were three extraordinary qualities which he possessed that further increased my love for him. Firstly, he would always be grateful to Allah the Almighty. Despite having limited resources, he would always express his gratitude and praise Allah the Almighty for everything. Secondly, His heart was filled with the love for Khilafat. I cannot recall single a moment where I met him even briefly and he did not express his love for Khilafat. Thirdly, he would serve the Jamaat with great love and considered it as his good fortune.”
His daughter, Tehseen Sahiba, writes:
“In every moment of his life, he sought to provide comfort to others. If any one of his friends or someone at the mosque was experiencing some difficulty, he would inform everyone about him at home and request them to pray for the individual. In every situation, he would remain grateful to Allah the Almighty and would help others and thank them for giving him the opportunity to help them.”
She further writes:
“He would always say to us sisters that one of the reasons why he loved us so much was because the Holy Prophetsa had stated that one who honours their daughters will be in his company in paradise. He treated us with great love and respect.”
His other daughter, Razia Sahiba, writes, “Our father would always advise us to show obedience and love for Khilafat and he himself was a true example for us in his love for Khilafat.”
She further writes:
“Each person that has come to offer condolences has said that it seemed like that he loved them the most; but in fact, he showed love to everyone. We thought that perhaps he only helped those who lived near the mosque; however, many people have stated that they considered him to be a part of their family. He even helped those who lived far away as well and fulfilled his bond of friendship. This is purely owing to his boundless love and helping people that they expressed such sentiments.”
I have also received letters in which people have written about him and from each and every letter, it is evident that he had a personal relationship of love and sincerity with each and every person. There are very few individuals who are loved by everyone. Similarly, all those who have written to me have also mentioned that Khilafat would always be the main subject of discussion in any gathering of his.
May Allah the Almighty grant him an abode amongst his loved ones and enable his children to continue his good deeds and become the recipient of his prayers. May Allah the Almighty grant his wife good health, patience and peace. His wife has been ill for quite some time and he also served her with great sincerity, love and affection, in addition to fulfilling all his other duties and obligations. He served in the Langar Khana in Dar-ul-Ziafat and he served with an even greater passion than a life-devotee and at the same time, fulfilled all his obligations at home as well.
Despite not knowing English, he also served his English-speaking neighbours and had established a good relationship with them and they have also greatly praised him.
May Allah the Almighty elevate his status.
The next funeral is of respected Iffat Naseer Sahiba, who was the wife of respected Prof Naseer Ahmad Khan Sahib. She passed away on 3 May at the age of 97 years, owing to a heart attack:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
“Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
Iffat Naseer Sahiba’s marriage took place with Prof Dr Naseer Ahmad Khan Sahib in 1951. She leaves behind one daughter, Aisha Naseer Sahiba, wife of Dr Inaayatullah Mangla Sahib of the USA. Also, two sons, Zaheer Ahmad Khan and Dr Munir Ahmad Khan, both have been married into the family of the Promised Messiahas. One of her grandsons, Baseer Ahmad Khan is a life-devotee and currently serving in an excellent manner in the transmission department in MTA. He completed his further studies here [in the UK] and thereafter presented himself to serve as a life-devotee. May Allah the Almighty enable him to also become the recipient of her prayers.
Her son writes, “When we were young children, we would sleep with our mother. In the night, whenever we would wake up, we would find our mother profusely weeping in her Tahajud prayers.”
This has also been mentioned by her daughter as well.
“She would regularly recite the Holy Quran and it was compulsory for all us children to recite the Holy Quran before leaving for school. We were not allowed to leave for school without having recited the Holy Quran.”
“During the 60s, she lived in Lahore and served as the general secretary for the women’s auxiliary organisation [Lajna Imaillah] in the Model Town Jamaat. For 28 years, she served as the president of the women’s auxiliary organisation in Dar-ul-Nasr Gharbi Jamaat.
“In those days, the Jamaats were spread over large areas and the jamaat of Dar-ul-Nasr extended up to the river [near Rabwah] and there were limited resources and transport was not easily available, however she would travel by foot to distance areas.”
“When Hazrat Khalifatul Maish IVrh urged the members to write letters to their non-Ahmadi family members and also those Ahmadis who were less fortunate, the deceased wrote countless letters to her family members. She would always be helping her relatives who were less fortunate and the poorer members in her local areas in some way or another. Especially during the month of Ramadan, she would cook meals and send it to them. She would always strive to keep everyone together and not allow any discord to appear.”
Her daughter, Aishah Sahiba, writes:
“She lived her life whilst fully supporting her life-devotee husband and considered our education and moral training as her primary duty and would also greatly pray for this as well.”
May Allah the Almighty grant her His mercy and forgiveness and enable her progeny to fulfil her pious wishes and become the recipients of her prayers.
The next funeral is of respected Abdul Rahim Saqi Sahib, who was serving as a staff member in the general secretary’s office [for the UK Jamaat]. He passed away on 31 March:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
“Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return”
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, he was a musi. He was born on 31 December 1934 in Mauza Raipura in the state of Nabha, India. His father’s name was Rahmat Ali and Ahmadiyyat entered in their family through his father’s paternal uncle, Chaudhry Kareem Bakhsh Sahib numberdarra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. Rahim Bibi Sahiba, who was amongst the female companions of the Promised Messiahas and wife of Maulvi Qudratullah Sahib Sanauri was a cousin of Abdul Rahim Saqi Sahib’s father, and thus his paternal aunt.
Saqi Sahib had the opportunity to serve as the finance secretary and qaid Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in Takht Hazara for ten years, from 1958 to 1968. After the partition of the [Indian] Subcontinent, his family migrated and settled in Takht Hazara. In 1968, he was appointed as the amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Takht Hazara and continued to serve as the amir until July 1974.
On 13 July 1974, a mischievous group gathered some deviants and opponents of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. This group, which was armed with weapons, then began to create unrest and disorder against the Ahmadis. They burnt one side of the mosque and took over it and they completely burnt down the guesthouse. Saqi Sahib owned a grocery shop which they looted and then set it ablaze. Similarly, he had a clothes shop which they also seized. They also set his house on fire whilst he was still inside and due to the smoke, he fell unconscious. Whilst he was in a state of unconsciousness, the mob carried him to the mosque and announced on the loudspeaker that he had accepted Islam and repented for his sins and other Ahmadis should also leave the Jamaat.
Later, when he regained consciousness and saw he was surrounded by spears and arrows, it had a great effect on him mentally. As a result, his children sent him to Lahore to one of their relatives where he also received treatment. He then once again started his business in the area where he came and settled and also built a Salat centre in a part of a building that was situated next to his relative’s house. He drew the attention of members towards the congregational Salat and taught the Holy Quran to hundreds of people, including children.
In November 2000, he migrated to London and thereafter continuously served in the [UK] general secretary’s office until 2020. He was even more punctual than the life-devotees and would always be the first to turn up to the office, so that no one would have to be made to wait. In fact, he would even skip his breakfast if it was getting late and would go straight to the office.
His children have also written that one of his qualities was that he would recite three parts of the Holy Quran daily. He had a bond of great love for Khilafat and would always advise in a very heartfelt manner to children and adults alike to remain attached with Khilafat and to show utmost respect, loyalty and obedience to Khilafat. He would always show great respect for the life-devotees and especially missionaries.
The deceased had the opportunity to serve the Jamaat on a voluntary basis for over approximately 60 years. His son, Khalid Mahmud Sahib is serving as the president of the Colliers Wood Jamaat. The deceased leaves behind his wife, two sons and five daughters. May Allah the Almighty elevate the status of the deceased and enable his children and progeny to fulfil his pious wishes.
The next funeral that I will lead is for Saeed Ahmad Sehgal Sahib, who served as a volunteer in the private sectary’s office’s dispatch department. He passed away on 12 April at the age of 90. He leaves behind two sons and two daughters.
His childhood was spent in Qadian and acquired his early education from there as well. He had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in the dispatch department in the private secretary’s office for a long time. He was very intellectual and along with his secular education, he also had a lot of knowledge of the Holy Quran and religious matters related to the Jamaat. He was very regular in his prayers and had a bond of extreme love for Khilafat. He was exemplary in his humility and civility and was very much liked by all those who knew him. I observed that whenever he met me, he did so with utmost humility and he had a great heartfelt desire for his progeny to also be firmly attached with the Jamaat.
Aslam Khalid Sahib writes:
“He had a very intellectual disposition and often we would have a very informative discussion on various topics at lunch. He particularly had a lot of knowledge about Christianity and Judaism.”
One of our staff members [in the private secretary’s office], Bashir Sahib, writes:
“He desired to serve the Jamaat even in the advanced years of his life. One day, he told me that he was going to the mosque for some work and suddenly felt a bout of dizziness and fell and sustained some injuries as well. However, despite that, he would walk to the mosque, even though he had to walk from quite a distance so that he could avail every opportunity of serving the Jamaat. He sold his large house and bought a small flat near the Fazl Mosque so that he could easily come to the mosque.”
May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His mercy and forgiveness and accept his prayers in favour of his progeny.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International on 4 September 2020, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)